40 Front Porch Ideas for Every Style and Season
We believe your front porch should be an extension of your house and speak to your personality. Porch decorations go far beyond a front door wreath. A porch is a place you can get creative with comfortable furniture or porch swings, potted plants, and address numbers. Porch accessories are easy to swap out and change with your taste, preference, and the season, and you can also make small cosmetic changes on a day off. Start sprucing up your porch this weekend with this list of 40 front porch ideas for every style and season.
Are you looking to level up your home’s exterior beyond the front porch? At brick&batten, we can help you envision and plan your exterior redesign. Once you send us a photo of your home and communicate your preferences and goal, we create a custom design and realistic rendering. After you approve it, we arm you with a handy resource list. Learn more about our virtual exterior design services.
40 Front Porch Ideas for Every Style and Season
#1 Update the Porch Lights
People often forget that porch lights are certainly a decor element. We especially love adding statement lantern lights to small porches that lack the space for a lot of porch accessories. However, there is such a thing as choosing a light that is inappropriately large or small. Read our guide on how to choose the correct exterior light size.
#2 Play with Patterns
We fully believe the porch is the perfect place to try out style trends that you normally wouldn’t add inside. So go ahead and reach for that throw pillow and ottoman that reminds you of Moroccan tile work you saw on your summer abroad. The key to mixing patterns is to keep them in the same color family, and a neutral pattern is usually a safer bet than a colorful pattern that might read too loud.
#3 Choose a Monochromatic Color Scheme
Monochromatic color schemes are super on-trend right now, and we couldn’t be happier about it. We especially love the look with statement color doors and shutters. Part of the historic collection from Benjamin Moore, this Boothbay Gray is gorgeous! Or, keep it even more simple painting the shutters the same color as the house. Add a walkway in the same color family, and you’ve got yourself a cohesive design.
#4 Trade a Porch Swing for Swinging Day Beds
Swinging on a porch swing is fun and relaxing, but have you ever tried swinging on a daybed? Magnolia Porch Swings makes tried and true swings that you can even pass on to your children one day. If your porch has room, you can go all out and add two for a luxurious place to rest.
#5 Be Intentional with Your Plant Choices
You can go so many directions with a potted plant display. Plants are one of the most versatile front porch decor elements because you can choose plants that match any design style. For example, plants like topiaries and lavender look great for porches that follow a romantic French theme. If your style fits more under bohemian, we love hanging plants that grow wild and free with long stems like philodendrons.
#6 Add a Hammock
A beautiful hammock is a functional and aesthetic decor element. A traditional white rope hammock can look great on coastal-themed porches, while ornate crocheted hammock goes well with farmhouse or boho porches.
#7 Switch to a Door With Sidelights and a Transom
You can completely enhance the look of your porch by adding a door with sidelights and a transom. Just like a mirror makes a small room look larger, windows do the same for a porch.
#8 Layer Planters
When planning a landscaping bed, we always tell our exterior design clients to layer plants and mix textures and height levels. However, you can apply this same rule to your potted plants. We love using the rule of three. Group potted plants of different sizes in threes, and add three different types of plants to each pot.
#9 Use Porch Steps as Plant Risers
Anyone can toss a handful of potted plants on a porch floor, but with a little more effort, you can display your plants in another way. This could be as simple as purchasing a tiered plant stand or using your porch step as risers.
#10 Let Decor Trail Off Your Front Porch
If you have a small porch, too many accessories can create a cluttered look. However, this doesn’t mean you have to forgo purchasing pretty lanterns and stringed lights. If you have a front tree in your yard, use it as an anchor point and place to add decor. Lay gravel around it, wrap lights around the trunk of the tree, and maybe even include a sitting area.
#11 Paint Your Shutters a Contrasting Color
On homes with several windows, the shutters are very much a part of the porch. Show off this design element by painting your shutters a color that stands out. Most importantly, your shutters should appear to close over the window. Even if they don’t, add shutter hardware, like shutter dogs, to create the look.
#12 Swap Out Your Porch Pillows
Sometimes freshening up your front or back porch decor can be as simple as swapping out your patio pillows. By simply switching the color palette of your pillows you can update the look for every season. We also recommend rotating out your pillows to prevent too much wear.
#13 Use a Porch Rug Instead of a Welcome Mat
With the right placement, a porch rug can serve the same purpose as a welcome mat. A beautiful outdoor rug is like a little black dress. Your porch can’t live without it!
#14 Add Tile, Stone, Wood, or Brick to Step Risers
Changing your entire porch floor may not be in the budget. However, adding tile, stone, wood, or brick to step risers is another way to add interest and curb appeal to boring concrete steps
#15 Go for an Outdoor Bar
A bar on your back porch may seem like more of a luxury; however, it can be a must have for lining up food for outdoor parties in the summer evenings.
#16 Match Your Decor to Your Home’s Style
While we’re all for mixing styles, but sometimes it’s just best to lean into your home’s architectural style and match your porch vibe. For example, to create an updated and cozy look, add sofas facing one another and a fire feature. Add planters and warm outdoor lighting to finish the space. We suggest a brick&batten design to create a cohesive look using your home’s architectural style and personal taste.
#17 Choose Pendant or Chandelier Lighting
We know porch lights on either side of the front door are the norm, but lately, we’ve been encouraging our exterior design clients to try out hanging light fixtures on their porch. For boho porches, weaved basket lights are perfect. For farmhouse porches, go with lanterns or metal chandeliers.
#18 Add Wood Accents
If you haven’t already picked up on it, we love wood accents on virtually every house style. Wood works well on everything from a farmhouse to contemporary architecture. Creating warmth and an updated style, try a wood accent somewhere on your home’s exterior.
#19 Swap a Traditional Wreath for Garland
In days of social distancing, the porch is an ideal place to host a small gathering thanks to the open air. Adding a flower garland will look great for the day of the event. Greenery like eucalyptus often dries nicely, meaning you can leave it up all spring or summer.
#20 Add a Metal Awning or Gable Over the Door
Your front door serves many functions, from security to greeting guests. Adding a simple metal awning or gable over the porch is a great way to update your doorway but also provides protection from the weather when people arrive.
#21 Add Outdoor Curtains
If your patio gets a bit too toasty in the summer or you feel like your neighbors are always staring, hang up some mildew-resistant curtains. Curtains done right definitely take your curb appeal to the next level.
#22 Extend Your Porch with a Pergola
If your tiny front porch is lacking, you can always just create your own. Thanks to pergolas, that is relatively easy. We often suggest this fix to our exterior design clients that are looking to extend their front porch space but also add a bit of privacy and shade.
#23 Change Up the Columns
If your porch columns are a bit wimpy, upgrading or wrapping them can make a huge difference. Your columns should appear to hold up the roof above it. If they don’t, your columns are likely too small.
#24 Update Your Porch Railing
Gone are the days of tiny spindles holding up your hand or porch rail. Get creative! You have options… an X railing, horizontal wood, cable railing, or even removing a railing if not needed or required for safety, etc. Updating your railing may be just what your house needs to create max curb appeal. Check out our guide on common porch railings that designers recommend.
#25 Add a Statement Door
Some porches just need a little spice. In this case, we find that it’s worth it to pour some of your project budget into a creative door. The right door is known to return over 100% of your investment. Dutch doors are always a conversation piece! Add iron or a fresh color to really greet your guests.
#26 Stay Cool With a Porch Fan
If you’re really wanting to use your porch it should not only look inviting but also be a comfortable space for you to enjoy. A porch fan adds to your comfort keeping the temperature ideal on warmer days.
#27 Update Your Front Door’s Details
What is the last thing your guests see right before they enter your home? The front door! When we talk about updating the front door, many people assume we are just talking about the paint color or door type. But adding details like a unique door knocker or a modern door handle can leave an impression.
#28 Make it Feel Like a Living Room
We always tell our clients to think of the front porch as just another room in their home. Add a comfy couch and weatherproof wood tables. Whoever said porch furniture should be uncomfortable and sterile?
#29 Create a Water Feature
A water feature on your front porch area not only looks pretty but it also creates a serene vibe with a soothing sound. With front porches being an excellent way to create additional living space, you want it to be relaxing and functional.
#30 A Rain Chain
Originally known as a Japanese rain pipe, we are noticing rain chains making a splash in the United States. Many people say they are an alternative to an actual gutter downspout. Check out these ideas from Rain Chain Direct to get inspired and learn more.
#31 Cut Back the Landscape Around Your Porch
When it comes to front porch ideas, many people overlook landscape. Your landscape is a reflection of you. It’s a place to get creative and add color; however, it’s also a place that is often done incorrectly. The landscape around your porch should complement the area and not detract from your home’s curb appeal. Over grown landscape is a definite curb appeal killer.
#32 Create a Courtyard Leading to the Doorway
Why not add a courtyard for privacy but also add interest? If your front porch space is small, a courtyard is an excellent way to enlarge the area and create a private spot you can sit and enjoy.
#33 Add Wood or Paint Your Porch Ceiling
Adding a pop of color to the ceiling is a little detail that possibly only you will notice. That said, it shouldn’t be overlooked! Consider the lucky haint blue if your architecture allows. As another alternative, you can’t go wrong with adding wood to your porch ceiling.
#34 Brighten It Up with Paint
Porches that get too much shade can sometimes look dark and unwelcoming. If this is the case, you might consider painting your home’s exterior and porch an airy color, like Seapearl or Natural Linen. If that is out of the realm of possibility, you can just focus on painting elements like your porch columns.
#35 Get Rid of That Old Concrete
Sometimes investing in new porch flooring can completely revitalize the look. Is it a DIY project. No. But, is it a high return on investment. Yes.
#36 Add Visible House Numbers
House numbers add character and personality to the place you call home. Make them visible for people to see and enjoy. Try script numbers or even numbers on the gable above your door. Check out these Modern House Numbers to get inspired.
#37 Add Heating
While adding a fireplace to your porch might not be possible, a small gas fire table or a fit pit in a large front yard, is an excellent way to stay warm in the winter without losing your front porch space. We do NOT suggest adding an oil filled radiant heater or walking away from the flame, but these solutions may provide a safer alternative.
#38 Plant a Flower Bed Under Your Porch
You read that right. Some plants prefer filtered sunlight or shade. Adding a landscape bed with shade plants creates color and life in what could become a dark area.
#39 If You Have a Large Porch, It’s OK to Be a Minimalist
Planters, hoses, bikes, rugs, furniture, and junk… oh my! Just because you have a large porch, doesn’t mean you have to go crazy and fill every bit of walkable space. Get rid of the junk and don’t let your porch be catch all for stuff you don’t want in the house. Do you want cozy? Yes. Do you want cluttered. NO! When in doubt, keep it simple and classy.
#40 Make Your Decorations a Tradition
It’s no secret that families love traditions. So if you perfect a seasonal porch display, feel free to use it year after year, making it your statement. Your neighbors will find comfort in seeing your corn stalks return every fall and hanging ferns in the summer.
Overall, we believe your front porch should be an extension of your house and can speak to your personality. Porch decorations go far beyond a front door wreath. A porch is a place you can get creative with comfortable furniture or porch swings, potted plants, and address numbers. Find some simple changes you can make to create the space you’ve always wanted.
Did this list of front porch ideas leave you feeling inspired to make more changes? From paint colors to porch railing ideas, we can help you create a cohesive design with a virtual exterior design. Get started today.
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